Best home VOIP?


Dec 7, 2001
tldr: I'm wondering what the best, somewhat cheap VOIP service is for the occasional phone call (incoming and outgoing). Convenience and "normal phoneness" being valued over cost to some extent, but keeping in mind we're talking about a call every few days.

First, I have to say, as a total aside, I'm a software developer and the past 3 years I've stopped being into most "nerdy" things like computer hardware, or really anything that isn't software related. As a developer, especially with languages like php, java, javascript, etc, I can normally google something and expect a bunch of answers from stack exchange/stack overflow/etc. Now, when I just googled "best home voip" I feel like I mainly just get spam, or websites who are setup from what I can tell purely to get referrals. It's crazy frustrating! I'm very thankful for [H] and other forums!

Anyway, back on point: My parents canceled their home phone two or three years ago, and ported their home phone number to Google (my recommendation) because they both had cell phones, and comcast or att or somebody was charging them a ton for a home phone line that they used less and less. That worked great, they still could listen to voicemail if people did call the home phone number, etc. All was well.

Fast forward a few years, and my little brother and sister, who previously would never be left at home alone, are now old enough to be left alone for short periods of time at least without my parents home. When this happens, on occasion they might need or want to call my parents for whatever reason. My siblings have ipod touches, which they can use to "text" my parents via messages/whatever service, but at the end of the day using the ipod touch for communication isn't really ideal. At the same time, my parents don't really want to get my siblings cell phones, for a number of reasons. What we want is a "normal" home phone of some sort, that will rarely be used.

I think a voip solution might work. The end goal is to have an easy way for both my siblings to call my parents and talk to them if needed, or visa versa. Something that works, is always on, is easy to hear if somebody calls, etc. Basically, a phone. Unless somebody has another solution.

I've googled, but it's tough for me never having looked into this "space" which VOIP solution might be best.

Any hints/tips?

Also, mods, I'm not sure if this is the right subforum, please move is not and sorry in advanced!

Also, thank you!!
Google Voice service still offers free calls and SMS within North America.

If you need 911 you can use it with a non-activated Android cell phone then use $5 Groove IP app (need to find version 1.48 otherwise versions 2.x and newer disabled this functionality) to integrate Google Voice service with phone dialer and Google Voice app for voicemail and SMS.

Or, use a $38 Obihai OBi100 device that uses Google Voice voice service with a traditional telephone connected to it.
I've used Ooma for a little over two years without a single hitch. Absolutely love it and couldn't recommend it enough. Top notch quality calls, actually better than the service I was getting from Cox. Runs about 3.47 a month to pay taxes. Long distance is free.

I will mention...if you plug your Ooma into the 'existing' telephone jacks in your home, it will make all of the phone jacks live. It's a nice bonus...